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Bugaboo, an international design company, was experiencing poor application performance after it centralized to one data center and removed local servers from five locations. The IT department noticed a dramatic increase in the number of complaints from users about the length of time taken to download files via the WAN.


IN BRIEF

Industry

  • Retail

Challenges

  • Centralized data center resulted in poor application performance

Solution

  • 10 Riverbed Steelhead appliances
  • Riverbed Central Management Console (CMC)
  • Riverbed Steelhead Mobile

Benefits

  • LAN-like performance to all branch offices and mobile workers

Bugaboo

Bugaboo improves user collaboration and customer satisfaction levels with Riverbed Steelhead appliances

Bugaboo International (www.bugaboo.com) is a design company producing innovative pushchairs that appeal to both mothers and fathers, and can be used for both city and leisure activities. This Dutch company is well known for its innovative and functional pushchairs and was founded in 1999 by designer Max Barenbrug and Eduard Zanen, at a time when other manufacturers thought the designs were not viable as they were considered too revolutionary.

The company now operates in 21 countries, with 800 employees worldwide. Headquartered in Amsterdam the company also has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Calgary, Barcelona and a factory in China.

Challenge: Reducing file latency and enabling collaboration across the organization

Bugaboo had centralized its IT systems to its head-office in Amsterdam and removed local servers from five locations. Although centralizing to the data center reduced the costs associated with managing local servers and IT services, the IT department noticed a dramatic increase in the number of complaints from users about poor application performance.

Bugaboo employees regularly collaborate between offices and a reliable communication structure is necessary to ensure excellent and consistent customer service. For a designer and manufacturer of high quality consumer goods, ensuring access to data is imperative to long term growth and profitability.

Guillaume Groen, infrastructure manager at Bugaboo, explains, “By centralizing the servers to our head-office, our users were now reliant upon the wide area network (WAN) to access files and data. Users’ productivity was being inhibited due to the length of time taken to download those files. We knew that we couldn’t go back to a de-centralized environment due to the cost and complexity that would be involved in installing local servers at branch office sites. We also knew that increasing our bandwidth wouldn’t solve the problem as the issue was latency not bandwidth.”

Solution: Steelhead appliances provide immediate application performance improvement

To resolve the problem Groen began investigating WAN optimization solutions and consulted reports from Gartner as well as Bugaboo’s technology reseller. Further research and conversations with other IT leaders led Groen to visit an existing Riverbed customer, to see the WAN optimization solution at work. After reviewing the products in action, Groen agreed to test the Steelhead appliances at Bugaboo.

To effectively evaluate the Steelhead appliances, a simulation environment was set up with a WAN emulator. Five engineers tested the network prior to connecting the Steelhead appliances to obtain a realistic view of application performance across the WAN. After determining this baseline, the Steelhead appliances were connected and application performance was tested again.

Groen comments, “Once the Steelhead appliances were connected we saw an immediate improvement in application performance. Suddenly files that took minutes to transfer were taking seconds.” The test results were clear, by installing Riverbed Steelhead appliances Groen could run his centralized data center and improve collaboration amongst users.

Benefits: Improved collaboration amongst Bugaboo users and increased customer satisfaction

Steelhead appliances were deployed at seven branch offices and the manufacturing plant. Steelhead Mobile was also installed to enable mobile workers the ability to access files quickly regardless of where they were based. By extending the same technology utilized in the Steelhead appliances, Steelhead Mobile addressed the problems of latency, bandwidth and application protocol inefficiencies to deliver LAN-like speed to remote workers that were being similarly impacted by the consolidation efforts.

Bugaboo also installed the Central Management Console (CMC) to more easily facilitate the administration tasks for the Riverbed system. The CMC enabled Bugaboo to configure, monitor and manage all of the Steelhead appliances from a single console.

Groen found installation to be a simple process, “Other offerings would have required a number of adjustments to be made to the network. With Riverbed however it was easy. The Steelhead appliances do not interfere with the network’s integrity, and the RiOS software is so smart.” He continues, “The actual implementation was also incredibly smooth and surprisingly fast. We just plugged the Steelhead appliance in, gave it a name and IP address and the system was up and running. It really was that straight-forward.”

Groen concludes, “Thanks to Riverbed we have retained our centralized data center, improved user response times, enabled greater collaboration between users and ultimately this all benefits our customers’ experience when dealing with Bugaboo. The complaints to the IT department have also reduced dramatically, which means the team can now spend more time on mission critical projects.”

SUMMARY

Bugaboo, supplier of innovative pushchairs, had pursued a program to centralize its IT infrastructure to one data center. The result of this consolidation effort was poor application performance for users in the branch offices which was affecting inter-office collaboration resulting in reduced customer satisfaction levels.

To overcome this performance challenge, Bugaboo identified that it needed to improve application performance over its wide area network (WAN). Bugaboo deployed Steelhead products from Riverbed Technology in eight locations and as a result users can now access files in seconds rather than minutes and collaborate more effectively between offices, increasing levels of customer satisfaction.

“Once the Steelhead appliances were connected we saw an immediate improvement in application performance.”

“Users’ productivity was being inhibited due to the length of time taken to download files via the WAN.”

“The complaints to the IT department have reduced dramatically.”

“Installation was simple. The Steelhead appliances don’t interfere with the network’s integrity, and the RiOS software is so smart.”

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